The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) has become a source of great pain for the approximately 10 million Americans who suffer from TMJ disorders. What are the symptoms of a TMJ disorder? Is there a natural way to get some relief? Let’s consider the answers to these questions.
What Are the Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder?
A TMJ disorder may cause a person to feel:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain or aching that radiates toward the ear or neck
- Facial pain
- Pain while chewing
- Loss of range of jaw movement
- A popping or clicking noise when opening or closing the jaw
If you are experiencing these symptoms, they may be related to long-term clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, arthritis, cartilage damage, or trauma to the head or neck.
Natural Relief from TMJ Disorders
Most people don’t want to take medication or undergo surgery for something like jaw pain, and neither option is usually necessary. There are a number of things you can do at home to help ease jaw pain. For example:
- Use Ice – Pain is often the result of swelling and ice helps to reduce inflammation.
- Stretching – Stretching the jaw can help to restore range of motion.
- Massaging the Jaw – You don’t need to find a professional masseuse. Just use your fingertips and gently work your way from the corners of your mouth back to the TMJ (the hard, flat surface under the cheek, close to the ear).
These methods may provide some temporary relief. However, you also want to get to the underlying cause of the pain, which may be an upper cervical misalignment. Most people don’t realize how close the C1 (atlas) is to the TMJ and ears. Even a slight misalignment can affect the TMJ, facial nerves, and cause the symptoms noted above.
If you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, especially if you have any history of head or neck trauma, find an upper cervical chiropractor near you to learn more about how a gentle adjustment may be able to set you on the road to better health and less jaw pain.
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